Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Garlic Whey/Buttermilk (Chhachh) Soup

Posted by fourclankitchen on February 4, 2012

For those who occasionally make cheese (ricotta, paneer) etc.  and wonder what to do with the whey/buttermilk, please do not throw this amazing liquid away. I don’t know what the exact term for this stuff is, but I am talking about the greenish milky liquid  that remains when you strain out your cheese   Indians sometimes use it in curries ( in hindi it is called chhach or chhas). This stuff has potential.  I used it in saag paneer the other day and it was better than adding yoghurt and way better than adding cream.

I had come across a 40 garlic soup recipes here and there and it immediately seemed like a marvelous idea.  When I made ricotta last week,  a simplified version of this soup seemed like it would really take to using up the whey/buttermilk and boy did it! Instead of roasting garlic in the oven for 40 min on a weeknight,  I went with slow cooking for about 10 min on the stove.  Perhaps the roasted version is superior, but this  was a great great soup and so easy.  If you dont have whey/buttermilk,  using chicken (vegetable) stock  with a bit of cream will do the trick. The cultured store bought stuff is not a substitute.  I ate this soup with Chinese chili oil, because that’s how I roll.  But my guys ate it with a basmati-wild rice combo (the kind Costco sells).  It would also be great with garlicky croutons and a dash of parmesan.

Ingredients

40 cloves garlic (peeled;  I bought mine peeled)

1 large onion – 2 cups diced

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 cups whey/buttermilk (Substitute 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup half and half  if you don’t have this stuff)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (1 used 2 cup water and 1heaping  tbs+1tsp of Better than bouillon)

2 tbs. butter

2 tsp dried  thyme.

Method: 

1. Heat butter, add cumin seeds and allow the seeds to sputter and release their aroma.

2. Add garlic and cook garlic on low until garlic browns nicely (about 7-10 min).  You don’t want your garlic to burn.

3. Now add onions, sauté about 10 min, till the onion softens.

4. Add thyme and sauté for a min or so, till you smell its aroma.

5. Add the whey and chicken stock/water+ bouillon and simmer for 25 min till the onions and garlic are completely soft.

6. Blend using an immersion blender.  This step seems to make the soup more airy, like a colloid and gives soups a better texture than the food processor.  I have no idea how a blender compares,  I don’t have mine out on a counter and never get around to using it.

7. Serve with a garnish of Chinese chili oil.  For a heartier meal,  serve with a basmati-wild rice mix or with garlicky croutons.

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